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“We are not invisible”

Seventeen kilometers from Oumba, in the village of Ngoupkbe, the situation is not much different. The inhabitants experienced the same terror and told similar stories.

Chantal Guereko, a 32-year-old mother of five, waits her turn for the distribution. Her eyes betray the fear she felt when armed groups attacked her village. "We didn't know what to do, we just ran for our lives," she explains, her voice trembling. The pain is palpable in her words as she recalls these traumatic events.

Despite the ordeal they have been through, Chantal and other families share more than just the trauma of being uprooted from their lives. They are today receiving vital humanitarian aid thanks to UNICEF's Rapid Response Mechanism.

It is noon, and already, hundreds of people, mostly women and children, have gathered in the shade of the trees in the centre of Oumba. All listen attentively to the advice on hygiene from a social worker from Action Against Hunger, a UNICEF partner. On this crucial day, some 250 families will receive emergency humanitarian aid.

While volunteers are busy unloading boxes and bags, the social worker lists the items that will be distributed to each household: a jerrycan, a bucket, a kitchen utensil kit, two mats, blankets, a tarpaulin, soap, two large pieces of cloth, mosquito nets, a hygiene kit with underwear, and other essential products for women and girls.